Glossary of Defense Contracting Terms (B)

This Glossary provides you with the most frequently used terms in government and military base contracting. Familiarity with the language of government contracting is essential for doing business with the Department of Defense (DoD) and working with contracting offices at military bases and DoD agencies.  You may also find it helpful to use our master list of Acronyms frequently used in DoD contracting



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View ACRONYMS used in Defense Contracting


BID PRICE   The stated bid sum

BUNDLING  Two or more consolidated requirements for supplies or services, previously provided or performed under separate similar contracts, into a solicitation for a single contract that is likely to be unsuitable for award to a small business.

BASIC AGREEMENT   A basic agreement is not a contract. It is a written instrument of understanding, negotiated between an agency or contracting activity and a contractor, that Contains contract clauses applying to future contracts between the parties during its term, and contemplates separate future contracts that will incorporate by reference or attachment the required and applicable clauses agreed upon in the basic agreement.

BEST AND FINAL OFFER   A contractor’s final offer following the conclusion of discussions in relation to negotiated procurements.

BEST VALUE    The solution achieved by the ordering activity selecting the lowest overall price offered depending on the circumstances of the purchase.

BID   An offer to perform work at a specified cost as described in a contract that includes a complete proposal to do the work. Typically time sensitive and good for 30 to 60 days.

BID AND PROPOSAL (B&P) COSTS   Costs incurred in preparing, submitting, and supporting bids and proposals (whether or not solicited) on potential Government or non-Government contracts. The term does not include the costs of effort sponsored by a grant or cooperative agreement, or required in the performance of a contract.

BILL OF LADING    A written receipt, contract or invoice given by a carrier to the recipient or sender showing a list of goods delivered.

BILLING RATE    An indirect cost rate that is established temporarily for interim reimbursement of incurred indirect costs and adjusted as necessary pending establishment of final indirect cost rates.

BLANKET PURCHASE ORDER (BPO)    An arrangement between the purchaser and a vendor to provide the purchaser's requirements for an item or service on an as-required basis. Time limited and with a maximum amount of money that can be spent at one time. Specifically identifies the people authorized to accept goods.

BOARD OF CONTRACT APPEALS (BCA)  An independent tribunal that hears and decides contract disputes between government contractors and the General Services Administration (GSA).

BOND   A financial agreement by a surety company that work will be completed as described in a contract. 

BREAK EVEN   A situation that exists when cost and revenue (e.g., contract price) are equal. Profit is zero.

BROAD AGENCY ANNOUNCEMENT (BAA)   A general announcement of an agency's research interest including criteria for selecting proposals and soliciting the participation of all offerors capable of satisfying the Government's needs.

BUY ITEM   An item or work effort to be produced or performed by a subcontractor. 


Pentagon Spokesman Department of Defense (DoD)

Guidance for Doing Business with Military Bases